Lanatoside B is a screen print by Damien Hirst from 2011. This print is based on Hirst’s very famous Spots paintings, showing a large grid of brightly coloured spots, each spot a perfect circle, evenly spaced and a unique colour. Lanatoside B, alongside other Spots paintings, represents abstraction reduced to a systematic formula and its simplest elements: colour, form and composition.
In order to choose the names for his Spots paintings, each named after pharmaceuticals, Hirst bough the Physicians’ Desk Reference. This is a compilation of information on prescription drugs used by manufacturers, that is published commercially and updated every year. Hirst commented that “it was just an afterthought to name them after drugs, based on this book, but I saw it and thought: I have just got to do all of them”.
Part of the appeal of the Spots paintings lies in their potential towards endlessness. Each print uses the grid-formula to explore various colour combinations, each spot a different colour and each composition unique in its colour placements. Despite the way in which this print appears to be formulaic, Lanatoside B retains a sense of expressiveness in its choice of colour that is informed by intuitive logic.